Membership for the Democratic Socialists of America, or the DSA, has nearly tripled in the last 6 months, up from 6,000 to 15,000 nationwide.
In the aftermath of a disastrous election for the Democratic Party, some liberals and leftists are turning away from the main organizing branch of the party, in favor of organizations like the DSA. It has been around since the early 80s, formed out of a splintering of socialist groups. The goal back then was to fight for reforms for the working class through hundreds of community chapters - a local focus still at the heart of the movement. But as socialism fell by the wayside in the 80s and 90s, interest in groups outside of the mainstream remained low.
But now, as a result of Trump's election, the perceived inefficacy of Congressional Democrats, rising inequality and the deferred vision of Bernie Sanders - all combined with online organizing - democratic socialism is finding its legs. And the DSA is at the heart of the movement as the largest socialist organization in the U.S.
Takeaway producer Oliver Lazarus went to the first Brooklyn branch meeting of the DSA since the inauguration, held at an auditorium, when just a couple months ago, the branch was happy if they could fill a living room.